31 August 2010

Return to Blogging: Hopefully Tomorrow

Sorry for the few day absence it's been pretty busy at work and in life lately.  Posts coming tomorrow!   

27 August 2010

Slice of Life: Friday Bonus Double Post; Gun Range w/ Foxtrot Uniform

Obviously with my newly received VA Non-Res CHP, I had to go to the gun range, and I did that last night with a good friend of mine, Foxtrot Uniform (he told me to use it, I swear).  With the cost of ammo lately, and now with my permit in hand, I wanted to closely examine if I had the best arm for carry duty. 

The first handgun I ever purchased was a 1911.  Something nostalgic and American about John Browning's design with your bugger hook on the bang switch, but as much as I love that arm, I never intend upon it to be much more than a pleasure / target gun.  So that necessitated picking up an 4" service model XD in .40 from a friend who was selling it about 4 years ago.  I've shot that gun plenty, but then the little birdy in my ear (read AKFan) has been telling me to ditch it for a 9mm Glock.  Having shot an old G21 when buying my 1911, I about wanted to shoot myself with the Glock 21.  I've been thinking of switching to an XD(m) in 9mm to compensate for the soon to be departure of the .40.  I listened to AKFan and test drove a Glock last night.  

After renting a Ruger LCR (Foxtrot Uniform wanted to give that one a run), a Glock 17 fourth gen, and a Beretta 92 (the latter two in 9mm), I have to say I'm done with the .40 game.  High pressure rounds mean recoil and harder second shot placements.  I used to be the kind of shooter who preferred more power at the expensive of sensible control, but as usual, AKFan has finally trained me to become a believer of doing things the "right way" versus the marginally harder way. 

The G17 was a dream to shoot for a service model and could quite potentially become my future carry gun.  Good, consistent trigger squeeze, with good break meant my first shot was dead center X on a full sized target.  Follow up shots for the 13 rounds at a reasonable combat pace yielded 2 "fliers" in the 8 ring at 10 yards.  I know I don't shoot often enough, but, the last time I shot my .40, I didn't have nearly that consistency.  Maybe part of it was me, but not having the gun practically jump out of your hands every shot means you can focus on pulling the trigger and getting back on target rather than re-grasping the gun. 

The 92 was also nice.  If I had to pick a handgun in 9mm to strap up for "duty" operation, I would seriously consider this one.  Being a DA/SA means the first shot (unless cocked and locked) is long and heavy, but it was consistently smooth as well.  In SA mode, the trigger was like a chem class glass rod snapping in two with short travel and reset.  I contend it may be better than my 1911.  If I didn't have to compromise and stick to a budget, there is the chance I'd be buying two new guns, but I don't have a need to be that spendy at the moment. 

In summary, a night at the range with a buddy is always good therapy.  Especially when you get to come home to a loving wife who wants to go out to dinner afterwords with her friends.  Hat tip to a gem of a chick who even ponied up for dinner and congrats to her and her new fiance on their engagement. 

Until next slice of life, keep the "front towards enemy." 

Slice of Life: Come Out Virginia!

On July 23rd, I mailed off my application for a non-resident Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit.  On Tuesday, August 24th, a shiny plastic card, too big to fit into any wallet slot was in my mailbox!  That's right, I am now licensed to carry in 26 states!  (Give or take the few that don't honor VA's non-resident permit).  

All told, the saga began about a year ago when I requested a non-resident packet.  I simply clicked on to the VSP website, searched around, find the necessary email to request the packet, and a few days later it was in my mailbox.  It sat in my important papers pile for the better part of a year until a month ago.  My parents had recently finished up a property in VA so it finally made sense to apply for the permit and "experiment" (if you can ever all carrying experimenting) with concealed carry.

The application was fairly painless.  It took me about a week to gather the necessary items, complete the application, get it notarized, get a money order, make photo copies of my driver's license and passport and hunters safety card (needed for proof of ID and competence with a firearm), as well as have my finger prints taken and get a passport photo taken.  Total costs were right at $114 broken down as follows:
  • License Fee, $100
  • Finger print fee, $5
  • Postage, $1.22ish
  • Passport photo, $7.45ish
  • Piece of mind and non-infringed rights for a period of 5 years?  Priceless!

Since I have not been back to Virginia this week (work happens to put a damper on that), I have yet to experience the liberating feeling of being able to exercise my Constitutionally guaranteed right to self-defense and arms bearing.  See, unlike my home state, I am surrounded by states that more liberally issue permits to those who are not otherwise disqualified, even to non-residents like myself.  Hopefully that will change with the Second Amendment Foundation's lawsuit against Maryland.

Though, most of my non-Maryland travels take me to the relatively peaceful portion of the Virginia Eastern Shore, just knowing that I will be able to defend myself and my family from here on out is a good piece of mind.  The prospects of that first experience of carrying are exciting and nerve racking, simply because with great power comes great responsibility.

Until the newest "gray man" checks back in after his first CCW experience, remember to keep your powder dry and your eyes on the target.

26 August 2010

NYC Mosque vs Pentagon Prayers vs Gov Overlords

Amendment I:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Oh the calamity!  First there was a proposed mosque near ground zero.  Then there were people who oppose the mosque.  Then there are the opposers of the opposers, and now calls for investigations into those who are in favor and those who aren't in favor of the said mosque!  Oh, and by the way, there is also a room inside the Pentagon where Muslims pray!  Forget the calamity, OH THE HUMANITY!

If you haven't read America Alone by Mark Steyn, then you should.  It will certainly help you understand what I am about to tell you in better light.  First, let us realize that peaceful Islam, even when peaceful, is nothing more than an adjunct political system that is hell bent on world domination.  Don't take my word for it, just listen to the bat nuts like the imam who is behind the NYC kick to the proverbial USA's nuts.  He will tell you that the USA has more blood on it's hands than the radical islmofascists do.  Feisal Adbul Taufand I will agree to disagree on that last doozey, simply because of the fact that I am an ignorant American.  (Sarcasm people, please read between the tea leaves). 

Look, let's get some things straight.  Number one, jihadists have brought "blood on the hands" upon themselves.  True, the USA tends to act like an empire and thus it meddles, unnecessarily at times, in foreign affairs.  Unlike what Imam Rauf has said, Iraq was responsible for the death of millions of Muslim people.  Iran was responsible for the hostage crisis.  Jihadists blew up the Cole and Khobar towers and were even fought by our fourth President, Thomas Jefferson, when they were busy being Barbary Pirates.  Hell, not even the Islamists can agree on the Islam!  Some are Sunni some are Shiite.  Others still want complete Shaira law for the whole world!  Instead of agreeing amongst themselves, they blow one another up and yet, we're the intolerant ones?

Then there are government overlords.  Hiding behind the same first amendment that we use, they claim to "defend" and condemn us all at the same time.  Enter the Guinness Guys: BRILLIANT!  Here's the thing, no one gives a rats donkey whether these people build their Mosque or not.  Quite frankly, most of America acknowledges they have the full right to build it where they want.  If you choose to build it there oh Friar peddler of the Islam, don't be surprised if there is some vigilante justice going on.  I'm not asking for it, I'm just saying you take the chance.  It's the type of justice we would expect from your ilk if we were to put a Catholic Cathedral five blocks next to Mecca.  You claim to be "tolerant" of our USA laws and culture, yet you fail to realize just how tolerant we are of your "political system."  

Simple, people don't care how you worship, or where, as long as you are "sensitive" to the noble deaths of our citizens.  You know, the ones that your ilk murdered.  No one has gone bat crap crazy over a multi-use prayer room where DoD Muslims pray from time to time.  That is the spirit of America, and we are ok with that, even if you aren't.  Most of us understood shortly after 9/11 that those of you in the middle east have the same empirical wishes that the USA leadership has.  Fine, well and good, do it on your own turf!  Leave us out of it.  If you don't, and you haven't, be ready for an ass whoopin!  We get that your history dating back to Mesopotamia has that conquering nature and we conquer to make friends and, well, stick around for a while.  You're just pissed that you hadn't thought about that idea in the last two thousand years.

Well, ok.  So I've digressed.  Case in point, the Islamofascists are being their usual ass-hatter selves, and expect us to alter our culture to fit theirs.  They have tried and succeeded widely in Europe and now they come to the last bastion of freedom, shinning upon the hill and they're biting off more than they can chew.  Newsflash retards, Washington doesn't represent some 75% of the USA if you haven't checked lately.  That figure is more than 2x as high as the colonies' dissatisfaction with the English crown when we revolted, so don't get too comfy.  Us Americans sometimes favor a good old fashioned beat down, and we're gonna continue to beat you down until you give up through good old fashioned American "astroturfing."

Tax Dollars for Mosques

Along with the slap in the face less than 5 blocks from ground zero.  Unbeknown to most, we have been funding the travels of the imam behind the NYC Mosque.  Oh, and if that's not bad enough, we are also paying to refurbish several high profile Mosques over seas! 

Excellent allocation of funds!  We're in a recession, headed towards a depression, and we can fund Mosque refurbishments in other countries!  Empire gone south we have become! 

Open Thread: Two Months, 90 Posts, 400+ Views

Well, I am tooting my own horn here for a minute, though I am not bragging.  Let us call this post "market research."  I fully admit I'm just another idiot with a blog who happens to meander in what I post about how I write those posts.  Hell, I'm sure half of the 400 views are me looking at my own blog! 

I said I wanted to get my rants and news posts out of my Facebook news feed, but I've realized, Facebooking news is far easier than managing a blog, writing material, captivating (hopefully) audiences, and disseminating links to fellow bloggers on similar topics to cross pollinate readership.  Phew, mouthful.  Taking the news links and turning them into discussions is rather difficult, time consuming, and of course, enjoyable. 

It brings me to this.  I still think I suck at this non-paying job and I mainly write to get my own thoughts down for myself.  I probably sound like a raving lunatic half the time and I should get out from behind the desk more often to write more "slice of life" spots.  I hope I'm just another pissed off American with a newly found internet voice, but that's what I haven't really gathered yet. 

Enter you, dear reader, and answer this question.  Do you hear me?  Do I make sense?  Am I a moron, or should I keep going?  Well, either way, while I write for you out there in intarweb land, I also write for myself.  I've always been self educating, but now I have to critically think harder, research the back stories on a news item, admit when I don't know something and even redact material when I totally FUBAR. 

I'm not saying thanks for my "clicks" just yet, because I don't feel that I have honestly earned many of them, but I will say thank you for the exposure thus far.  Please feel free to leave suggestions on this and any other blog post.  I really want to understand what you, as a reader of this (and other) blog(s) is looking for. 

Going forward, I promise I will make some better attempts to get more American Spirit in this blog and not just the good old American Civil Disobedience.  Until the next milestone post, thank you for your continued readership.

QOTD: Thuggery

Today's QOTD comes from your fine author, though it is not recommended for most situations in this PC world.
Sometimes you have to fight thuggery with thuggery; if we beat up a few bad guys with phone books more often, there would be less crime.
Baltimore, as we've discussed recently, is a cesspool of violence which means that the average beat cop has to deal with a lot of high stress situations and snap judgments.  Sometimes, they don't always make the best judgments, and when that happens they need to be reprimanded.  So, what happens when a 19 year veteran cop looses his job over an incident that took three years to investigate and probably didn't warrant anything more than a couple weeks without pay? 

Good question.  Investigative Voice has the stories this morning that stemmed from an inner harbor incident with a bunch of punk kids with no respect for authority.  Yes, the officer went a little far in his confrontation but the kid admits to the problem before minute two of the video (youtube video on IV link).  It's the same problem that has plagued Baltimore for a decade or more and it is continuously the elephant in the room no one wants to admit to or talk about; lack of family continuity within the city.  The punk kid shows a severe lack of respect to the officer and then fully admits to the cop that he has no father.  Where I came from, you grow up to fear what your father will do to punish you when you do something wrong.  Now, couple "behavior modification" with love from your old man, and it actually can turn you into a decent human being. 

Obviously, I do not know if the kid's father passed away or if he is one of the countless fornication kids in the city.  Baltimore cops have been known for their less than stellar reputations and abuse of power syndromes, but a veteran cop tossing around and talking tough to a loud mouth kid doesn't seem like a fire-able offense to me (and the review board agreed).  When the police get no assistance from the DA's office on putting the thugs and punks behind bars and there is a general lack of respect from the punks of all ages, it isn't shocking when the police get tough on their own accord.  Factor in the street knowledge of how to work the system as best as possible and situations like this become a regular headline grabbing occurrence. 

Either way, a couple skate boarding punk kids with no respect for the badge, didn't help themselves either.  Sure, it seems as though the officer was having a bad day and went a little far, but kids at that age who potentially would just be bounced around the juvenile justice system get better behavior modification from a tactic like my quote (though I don't recommend the use of actual phone books to the B-More PD).  If you want the police / citizen relationship to be better, cohere the family unit, instill some discipline into your children and don't be morons and break the rules or work the system.  Values matter and most of Baltimore, has none.

25 August 2010

Street Scanners, Crime Predictors, GPS Tracking: 1984 Has Finally Arrived

Other blogs have been hot all over the story that broke last night about full body scanner technology being downsized and shoved into van sized vehicles for mobile scanning abilities of cars, buses, trucks, or even our homes.  The word outrage isn't even strong enough to describe how I personally feel about this blatant violation of 4th and 5th Amendment rights.  Refresher:  The Bill of Rights is written in simple English, to those who have studied it properly, to understand precisely what our enumerate protections actually are.
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Simple enough to understand, even for the laymen or arm chair lawyer.  This shit (excuse my French) ain't rocket science!  It really should come as no shock that two other major fourth and fifth amendment violations stories are also plastered all over the bandwidths today.

Oh yes, you read that correctly.  Synopsis:  Guy growing weed has GPS tracker placed on his car, in his own driveway in middle of the night by DEA agents who then proceed to "follow" him around, electronically, until he leads them to his pot field.  Sounds like sound police work to me.  Instead of using good old tail and chase techniques with physical man power, they go high tech and violate his property rights and personal effects.  Warrant?  We don't need no stikin' warrant!

What is far worse is the mere fact that the 9th Circus AGREED to allow the use of this tactic for this case and all future cases!  Yeah, the guy screwed up, was violating the law, but that doesn't mean that the law enforcement agents get to violate the laws meant to protect innocent people from the law enforcers, at least not without prior judicial approval.  Don't give me the crap about "not doing anything illegal, you got nothing to worry about," either.  This country's heritage is meant to protect innocence until proven guilty, not the other way around.  Remember, we work within a system that our founders agreed to that would let 10 guilty men go free rather than punish one innocent man.  If you don't like that system, AMEND THE CONSTITUTION?  Yes, the amendment process is significantly hard.  Meaning that there has to be an almost unanimous agreement, for good reason, to prevent a slow take over of tyrannical forces (it's a shame that's forgotten today). 

With usurpation like this, can we ever be completely sure that we are free in mind and spirit with big brother watching us or even a small portion of us?  As the saying goes, the average American commits at least three felonies a day.  (Tip on WSJ onlie:  If you want the full article, simply Google the web address).  Is it really that far fetched that you could violate some obscure law and then get a shake down from the fuzz?  What would some newbie government enforcer, who wishes to rapidly advance through the bureaucratic system, do to us in an effort to bestow great honor upon himself?  Will they hassle you into a confession?  Charge you with lying to a federal official?  Obstruction?  Sounds outlandish, but ask yourself, does it?  Given how simply crazy stories like this are and how frequently they occur, it's quite possibly in the realm of reality.  

Minority Report comes to real life!  Excellent.  Again, this is only currently being implimented for "known" criminals, but how can we ever be so sure.  Police agencies in major cities across the country have been using closed circuit TV systems to "monitor" for years.  Other countries, like England, have tried to pass "pre-crime" laws.  What exactly constitutes a pre-crime, and who gets to make that determination?  Hell, at least I know that Google is just trying to make a buck with their rover vans and UVA drones for street view and Google Maps.  The power of the almighty dollar is more trust worthy than those who serve as the last line of defense that are meant to protect the Republic (read Judges enforcing the rule of law).  

It is simply mind numbing to see where we are headed and how we are getting there.  When insanity reigns, the psychopath's are considered normal.  If that's the case, than please sign me up to be considered a psychopath. 

Who Needs Oscar When the Trash Cans Snitch Themselves

Here come the Green Police!

Michelle Malkin has recently be reporting on Obama's FedGov land and ocean grabs, but now she is also reporting that your stimulus dollars are hard at work snitching on you for the sake of environmentalism! 

Seems that $500,000 of your tax dollars have gone towards funding trashcans embedded with RFID tags and bar codes aimed at turning Cleveland trash collectors into tax collectors.  If you don't move your recycling bin to the curb in three weeks of collection, the RFID's tell the collectors to sort through your trash to make sure that you aren't throwing away recyclable materials.  Your penalty?  A fairly hefty $100, which will no doubt NOT go to saving the planet. 

I don't know about you, but I certainly don't sort every piece of junk mail for "recycling" and nor do I clean out items like mayonnaise or peanut butter jars that are messy and time consuming to get to a recyclable state.  So, if I have an infraction like that for one item, would I be subject to a $100 fine?

Perhaps the green police can recycle some cherry bombs while they melt down their cans and bottles for reprocessing!

24 August 2010

Forward Looking USA: Brit's Cut Fuel Payments for Retirees

One of the objectives of this blog is to get outside the normal USA absurdity that is our daily news (more coverage on absurdness later), and look at other news stories from around the world from sources that cover that news better than our own news media.  Of course, to be better than the US news media doesn't take much.

An interesting piece in my favorite news paper (London Telegraph) last week is that those on fixed income will be feeling a bit more squeeze this winter as fuel payments (read subsidies) will be cut.  The effect?  Millions.  The sub-headline on the article reads: "Older people will have to wait at least six years longer to receive winter fuel payments, under government plans to cut the welfare bill." 

I know that most of the citizens out in la-la land haven't a clue the implications for the USA, but let's think about it this way.  Social security is currently the biggest Ponzi scheme the world has ever known, through out the entire course of time.  Ponzi schemes must always bring in more money than is paid out to keep the scam going so since the FedGov is bringing in a continuously downward trend of money to SS, how do you balance the books?  One way is to up the retirement age and a second is to reduce the benefits paid out.  Since the second is less politically advantageous, the politicians usually raise the retirement age in a hope that more people die before they draw benefits.  (Please realize, I am not kidding).  Case in point, the UK government would rather freeze people to death than allow them to live.  Never mind that they probably could have continued to live a happy, fat, and warm life if they had never stolen money from the retirees in their working years, thus allowing them to budget for their fuel concerns in their geriatric state.  Nanny state government's epic fail, many documented times over! 

But why will we have a continuously downward trend in Western Countries from here on out?  Several things are the reason, but they all revolve around demographics.  While the double dipping recession is a big factor in lack of tax receipts, baby-boomers hitting retirement age is perhaps the biggest trend no one examines when investing or forecasting for governmental budgets.  The boomers are exiting the workforce through retirement or layoffs and thus, are forced to draw off of their retirement accounts, sucking liquidity out of equities for the remainder of the next generation.  Who will be paying into these games in the future?  Considering the government hates to loose control of their power (as is evidenced through every single corrupt government of the world's history), the 20somethings fresh out of college will be not only expected to pay a higher share of their income to their patriotic taxes, but they will be forced to.

Eighty-five will be the new retirement age for my generation.  Yep, sucks.  However, there are some alternatives.  One, reduce government craptacular spending on garbage we don't really need and we won't really see a general decline in benefits paid or a raise of the retirement age.  Creating employment through encouragement of an "investment" economy instead of a sycophantic, crackerjack, zombie economy that steals wealth through punitive taxes and tax rates is another.  Last by not least, encouraging better demographics is not only key to the survival of our country, but is our way to prosperity.  Yes, I will say it, make more babies! 

Americans produce about 2.1 children per household, which is just above the population maintenance rate.  I'm sure you're scratching your head about that one, but the more children that mainstream Americans have, the more votes against the fascists that are in power now are created.  Further, they will be tax payers for the future (provided the government doesn't suck the life out of them while they are still in the womb, not via abortions either).  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that we steal from the unborn generation, just saying that their labor, their future ingenuity, and prospects of a power shift are all things that go into political and economic planning.  The bad news in this is, the fastest growing population segment in the world is that of the Muslims (you do the math). 

All of these points are truly disturbing if you stop and think critically about them.  Now, they are not catch all solutions, but we must realize that welfare programs fail, every time.  The Ponzi schemes that they are, are meant as tools for the radical left of every ilk to perpetuate a power struggle between multiple classes of people only for their political power gains.  Generations prior to mine have failed to "keep the republic" and now are being forced to reckon with the consequences of their ignorance.  This author sees the writting on the wall that I will be billed now and in the future (through my unborn or un-conceived children) for the actions / inactions of my parents and grandparents.  (Not my parents per se but their generation). 

As cold and as cruel as it is to say this, however, let the generation that decided to abscond on their duty to guard the republic die from the freezer burn that comes with it!

Rant of the Day: RNC Chairman Steele At it Again!

Good old Chairman Michael Steele is at it again!  What a reject!  HotAir Blog has the coverage of today's article in The Hill

Seems the Chairman doesn't care for the Arizona Immigration law, and is hoping to spark some "good" news for the liberal media and political establishment to gin up.  His statements have me so frustrated that it's created today's rant of the day (ROTD)!  
Chairman Steele,

Please stop speaking for the party!  We in the country class are tired of our "political leaders" gabbing their "opinions" and insulting our intelligence as for how the Constitution and our Country are supposed to work.  I am referring to your comments in today's "the Hill" article.  Sorry to say, but it is party members LIKE AZ Gov Jan Brewer that DO represent me, and reflect the notion of the country class movement far better than you and the RNC do.  Stop dumbing down the issues, and make the RNC actually stand for something like, oh I don't know freedom and national sovereignty.  You would certainly see more support from me and others like me, IF you would stop playing the inside the beltway game and forced your candidates and organization to act like citizens! 

Illegal means ILLEGAL.  It does not mean undocumented and it is a non-discriminatory offense NOT BASED on race, religion, creed, sex, or sexual orientation.  It is based upon international LAW.  LAW, you know the rules by which citizens (and even their elected representatives) are supposed to constrain themselves by.

I have voted for you in the past, but you no longer represent the average American that likes his country for the way it was founded [emphasis added].  Please, do us all a favor and go back to liking puppies. 

PS: I'm sending an email to Jan Brewer that she needs to remind you that YOU don't represent the entire Republican party either.  Seriously, stop ruining our chances to win the Nov. elections.  Or, if you'd like, get the heck out of our way! 

MD.gov's No Need for CHP vs. FBI's No. 5


Well, maybe that's not so good, but hey, we disarm the Maryland public and allow them to be unwilling victims!  That should serve for some good progressiveness, shouldn't it? 

Well, my fellow Marylanders, not exactly.  According to the Baltimore Business Journal's article, Baltimore's numbers are pretty bad.  Far worse than that of comparable sized cities and even bigger cities.  Baltimore's 238 murders in 2009 equates to a rate of 37.26 per 100,000 citizens. That's quite an ugly number.  Numbers one through four in this category standout as the quintessential who's who of crime.  New Orleans leads the way, with 51.72 murders per 100,000 residents, followed by Richmond, Calif., at 45.82 per 100,000, St. Louis at 40.26 per 100,000, and Detroit at 39.74 per 100,000.

Comparing Baltimore to bigger cities like NYC, DC, Philly and Boston, the results per 100,000 citizens are quite disturbing.  With rates like 5.61, 23.85, 19.52, and 8.01, respectfully, Baltimore lags behind by far numbers.  Worst still, is the fact that the city that breeds also makes two other top 20 crime lists for aggravated assault and robbery.  That is a title that is bequeathed to just a total of six cities.  Kudos Charm City!  

Now, I'm sure the critics are saying that three of those cities (Philly excluded) do not allowed for concealed or open carry of firearms, but let us examine the facts closer.  Baltimore is roughly 625,000 in population size, which is about the same as Washington, DC at approximately 600,000.  DC also restricts it's citizens right to bear arms outside their homes.  The caveat is that the District is the perfect social science experiment for testing what effect that legal guns, owned by law abiding citizens, have on crime rates.  Our nation's Capital has seen a decline in crime in every category (except arson where there was an 8% increase from 51 to 55 per year) from the numbers in 2008.  Now, some of that can be attributed to changes in the District's policing and enforcement, but no doubt the major social change that occurred was the finding that DC's private firearm ownership laws were unconstitutional.  Criminals aren't dumb and they know that there is the chance their victims will be armed.  Hence the reason the significant drops in every violent crime category.  

Looking at every city in the nation that has populations between 599,000 and 700,000 citizens, we find some interesting things looking at the murder rates.  Comparing cities in the states with concealed carry laws to those without, a significant trend is seen.  There are 10 cities falling into this population category, and of those ten, six cities are in jurisdictions with concealed carry laws.  Here are all the cities and their murder rates per 100,000 people. 

  • Denver, CO:  Pop 604,680; Rate of 5.13;  CCW Allowed / Shall Issue
  • Washington, DC:  Pop 599,657; Rate of 23.85; CCW Not allowed
  • Louisville Metro, KY:  Pop 631,260; Rate of 9.82; CCW Allowed / Shall Issue
  • Baltimore, MD:  Pop 638,755; Rate of 37.26; CCW Heavily Restricted, effectively not allowed
  • Boston, MA:  Population 624,222; Rate of 8.01;  CCW Heavily Restricted, effectively not allowed
  • Memphis, TN:  Population 667,421; Rate of 19.78; CCW Allowed / Shall Issue
  • Nashville, TN:  Population 610,176; Rate of 12.62; CCW Allowed / Shall Issue
  • El Paso, TX:  Population 618,812; Rate of 1.94; CCW Allowed / Shall Issue
  • Seattle, WA:  Population 602,531; Rate of 3.65; CCW Allowed / Shall Issue
  • Milwaukee, WI:  Population 604,673; Rate of 11.91;  CCW Not allowed, Open Carry infringed

The average of those cities that allow for CCW is a low 8.82 murders per 100,000 while those without are an astounding 20.26 murders per 100,000.  Obviously, there is some ability of the statistical evidence to skew these data, so we'll also look at the median sample for argument's sake.  For cities with CCW we get 14.95 per 100k and for those without it's 17.88 per 100k.  Keep in mind, this is only a quick and dirty example and does not take into account any time series trends or even other rates of crime for forced rape, aggravated assault, or robbery.  Our good friend John R. Lott has proven for the last decade that those categories are also dramatically affected by shall issue concealed carry laws.

Simply put, the stats don't lie.  They aren't skewed as they come directly from the FBI, a non-partial source, and the results of this quick and dirty example can be replicated by anyone who's passed 8th grade algebra.  The point of this exercise is simple, guns in the hands of law abiding citizens lower crime rates.  It's been going on since the invention came into existence, and the inversely proportional trend will continue until the end of time or the firearm.  Further, as us gun nuts know, we don't need statistics on our side to win the Constitutional argument, but these facts do help us win the culture war.

I wonder how the Owe'Malley and Dougy Gansler crowd will respond to these facts in the midst of their Second Amendment Foundation lawsuit?  I'm sure they will conveniently "dispute" them.  Perhaps someone can send these stats along to our good delegate that doesn't have a clue

Source: FBI Crime Stats.  Please note that the statistics used are the "preliminary" statistics, and are subject to some change. 

20 August 2010


"Hope is an expensive commodity, it makes better sense to be prepared."
 Today's quote comes from an unlikely source, a friend from Facebook.  Not sure where they originally heard it or if they came up with it themselves, but kudos! 

19 August 2010

Happy Cost of Government Day!

No longer, for this year at least, will your labor go towards servicing the expenses of the government.  That's right, we've slaved away for seven and one half months to pay our share of the government's bills.  Sounds encouraging towards the future doesn't it? 

American's for Tax Reform has the full report available here for free download in PDF format.  The biggest point in the report?  Simple!
In 2010, Cost of Government Day falls on August 19.  Working people must toil 231 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government - 8 days later than last year and a full 32 days longer than 2008.
In other words, in 2010 the cost of government consumes 63.41 percent of national income.
Welcome to America, we need your money!

18 August 2010

QOTD: Daily Reckoning Style

"'The predominance of the West is an anomaly in history,' Kraus goes on. 'It ended with the turn of the millennium.' It is now a “multipolar world” – in ideas and commodities. Instead of the traditional New York-London axis, the economic world will spin on different poles from Beijing to São Paulo."
All great empires, in our case an Empire of Debt, must come to an end.  Unfortunately, we are seeing a great world shift from the dominance of the Angelo-Saxin world towards that of the far east.  Nothing spectacular as it happens ever one to two thousand years, as China, Mongolia and Mesopotamia once ruled in advance of Greece and Rome societies.  Ergo the sands of time.

History, if we fail to learn it, means we are doomed to repeat it.

Special recognition to contributor AK Fan who gave me the exact same quote (almost verbatim) yesterday. 

Debt vs Votes

BigGovernment.com had an interest graphic last week.

Votes for President in 2008 versus the debt loads of the states.  See a correlation? 

"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."  -Alexander Tyler

Click the link for a more in depth analysis of state debt load vs. 2008 presidential election. 

Bank of England Gov Wars of Higher Inflation, Longer

Less than a week after a Federal Reserve Governor warned of a boom bust cycle outlook for the USA, the Bank of England's Governor has issued a letter to the UK Treasury to state that inflation is running higher than the central bank's target.

It seems that, according to the Telegraph article, the Bank of England's Governor doesn't foresee a return to the country's 2% inflation target until 2011 at the earliest.  Now I'm sure the dear readers out there are wondering how can England's central bank admit to inflationary policies, yet the Federal Reserve can't see the same problem? 

Obviously, the Fed is more worried about the deflationary problem since the USA is saddled with exorbitant debt.  As prices deflate, wages stagnate or regress, and we get stuck in a downward cycle (great depression).  Deflationary pressures when there is a mountain of debt usually means default, which for the political establishment usually means an ouster.  Inflationary policies, as I am finding out in When Money Dies, allows the rulers to 1) buy time, and 2) those who wish to inflict radical changes to a country's structure then have a chaos within which to operate as the people are consumed with outright survival.  Where debt deflation is a market's ordered "survival of the fittest" solution to those who are over extended on their credit and have reaped the benefits of a cracker-jack economy, the US Fed wants to resist these pressures at all costs because it means a loss of power, as credibility has long since gone out the window.

So what is implied by the warning from the BOE's chief?  Nothing good, that's for sure.  Loose monetary policies have been the societal norm for the last 20~30 years.  As we are seeing detailed in the mainstream headlines lately, the consensus is starting to shift towards a dire outlook.  Hello second-half of the non-existent double dipper.  I don't like to offer a completely gloomy projection, but if we repeat the complete historical inflationary burn of 1920s Germany, the next decade will be ugly. 

House Speaker Admits to Dem AstroTurfing!

Nit wit Speaker Pelosi has just admitted that the Dems and their minions AstroTurf!  Well, ok, maybe she didn't specifically say that, but let's read between the lines.  Heard here, Madam Speaker has called for an investigation into the funding of the opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque.
"And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded."
FUNDED!??  Funded?  Really Speaker BELOW-ME?  You think that everyone that opposes you is funded by the vast right-wing conspiracy?  Perhaps you think that opposition to the Ground Zero Muslim Community Center is being funded because it is how your side operates?

Think like your enemy if you wish to defeat them, the problem being for our radical leadership, it's not so easy to think like us.  We're normal, you're not. 

Helo Ben's Facebook Page

Zero Hedge has been doing a series of artist renderings of political and economic leadership's "desktops" lately.  Yesterday, they took it a step further and did a rendering of Helicopter Ben Bernake's Facebook profile. 

The rendering comes from William Banzai who's blog is full of financial parodies and is worth a look for the (un)amusing factor.  Meaning, that the pics are so satirical, that they portray the reality that the political and economic leadership don't want us to know (hence why they are "un"amusing). 

Enjoy and happy hump day. 

17 August 2010

Fun with Google Trends: Kyle Bass

It has since slipped to No. 2, but hedge fund manager Kyle Bass was the most Googled person in all of the USA this afternoon.  Seems that he was on CNBC giving almost all of their views heart attacks today as he discussed market conditions and more importantly sovereign debt problems.  Zero Hedge has the coverage.

Upstart Blog Goes Live! CCWStories: Pleas from Marylander's for Self Defense Rights

It is no secret that I am a concealed carry advocate.  Unfortunately, my home state illegally infringes my natural right to self defense and my enumerated right to keep and, more importantly, bear arms.  Though the Second Amendment Foundation, a local Vietnam Vet, and Alan Gura are attempting to rectify that problem, a fellow www.marylandshooters.com board member has started a new blog to change the political and legislative landscape for fellow advocates.

CCWStories will publish the stories of Marylander's who would seek handgun permits to wear and carry if the state's discretionary permitting process was changed to that of a shall issue policy.  Further, the blog owner is encouraging Marylander's with permits to detail the process they went through to obtain their permits, specifically their troubles in obtaining them, the hoops they had to jump through, or the restrictions donned upon their permit.

Non-Maryland citizens are also asked to offer stories of obtaining permits from their home states and what it is like to have the ability to exercise the right to self-defense.  Feel free to include information detailing the states you are allowed to carry in with either reciprocity agreements from your home state or non-resident permits you have obtained from other states in an effort to conceal carry nationwide.  Of course, actual stories of self defense are also welcomed! 

Most importantly, share this new blog with your friends, family and network.  It's time that the stories of law abiding citizens are published for all to see.  We have them [anti-gunners] on the run, let's show them no mercy in their retreat to the woodshed!

Fed Judge Rules Missouri Funeral Protest Ban Unconstitutional

From the Military Times, a Federal judge has ruled that Missouri's ban on funeral protesting is unconstitutional.

I guess Westboro Batnut Baptist "Church" will be free to infringe upon the civil liberties of those whom have made the greatest sacrifice for this nation.  I'm not quite sure why this cult seems to get off on the notion of wacky publicity, since most cults want to remain off the grid. 

The infraction of the Judge's unconstitutional ruling is that one man's rights, stop at another man's door step.  Do the Batnuts have the right to protest "God's revenge for homos?"  Sure.  Freedom doesn't discriminate against poor taste or moronic tool bags, but not at the expense of another man's right to grieve in peace.  There are far better forums for them to decry their inbred opinions than that of a soldier's funeral. 

Alas, there are several other cases pending to shutter these rejects from disgracing honorable men that are doing ridiculously hard work and making the ultimate sacrifices, so here is to hoping that the other Judges will get it right.  I guess we'll have to question their existence and necessity of their protests if the 9th Circus, and perhaps eventually SCOTUS, rule that same sex marriage are in deed, unconstitutional as well.  Something tells me though, a favorable ruling to the Wesboro Batnuts, won't stop them from protesting. 

WSJ'S ROI: A Crash Is Coming

I want to make sure that I got this simple and easy to follow article out in the hands of my readers.  Published last week from the WSJ's Return on Investment blog, Brett Arends details 10 simple and easy reasons to read why you should contemplate getting out of the market. 

Things continue to worse, and the cheerleaders continue to scream for more.  Bread and Circuses was the saying in Rome. 

HI JAPAN! We're You're Newest Lost Decade Member

Seems that Kansas City Fed President, Thomas M. Hoenig, is concerned we could be seeing the beginnings of a Boom Bust cycle much like Japan has experience for the last two decades.  The inflation hawk is concerned that free money is deteriorating the underlying structure of the US economy, and could stoke future inflationary challenges. 

In other words, Hoening isn't telling us anything we didn't already know, but just happens to carry some extra clout as a Fed member.  I wonder how many Yuan I can get for my thousands of dollars in about five years, perhaps I should purchase them now.

QOTD: Irrational Exuberance

"Instead, what we'll get for our money out of this particular jobs spending is a few high monkeys, a covey of stoned quail, and a bit of temporary employment for a handful of grad students and a few crack professors."

Today's QOTD comes from Ralph R. Reiland at the American Spectator and references just how much waste and absurdity exists from the Fed Gov.  Often referred to as Irrational Exuberance, the disconnect from Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Street, USA is so redunkulious, it can do nothing be fester a totally disgusting taste in one's mouth.

Reiland was examining just what was in the so called "jobs" bill and how it could have been better spent, if it was meant to be spent in the first place. 

"As part of the recent non-stimulating stimulus bills, Wake Forest University received $71,623 to "study how monkeys react under cocaine." There's also a grant of $181,000 to see how cocaine enhances the sex drive of Japanese quail.
"That's $252,623, enough loan money in this down economy to pay for a year's rent at a dozen storefronts, a strong incentive for the launching of startup companies that could well have the potential of hiring hundreds of people off the unemployment rolls."
Seems to me, that it is just further evidence from Today's other post that Mr. Roberts has it backwards on where we need to cut budget spending.

Laughable Solutions to Major Debt Problems

Paul Craig Roberts, writing for Alex Jones' INFOwars has a hit piece out yesterday detailing that it's time for an American Revolution.  Funny though that the piece never calls for a revolution until the final sentence, nor does it offer any realistic solutions to the debt problem that is ruling the USA.  Roberts' article starts out well with stated facts that we have a huge budget and trade deficit that are crippling the country but that's about where the good part stops. 

It seems that Roberts understands that we have been off shoring too many jobs and far too much debt, but he fails miserably to see that the USA has lost it's competitive manufacturing advantage.  To bring those lost manufacturing jobs home, he advocates for a tiered tax structure that would make a value added tax on companies who produce goods outside of the USA.  Unless Roberts has taken notice, almost everything sold on the store shelves of American retailers is made in some other country THAN the USA.  Not only would this asinine idea increase costs to American consumers, but these "tarrifs" would effectively spark a trade war with China and other trade "partners."  If Roberts believes continued deficit spending will ultimately spark a US dollar / debt purge by Treasury bond holders, there would be no better way than to do it by slapping a tax hike on imported goods.

If Roberts truly wants a competitive America, perhaps he should find a way to reduce the costs of business here in the USA.  Labor costs are currently as cheap as they have been in the last decade, but the hurdlers of business to meet OSHA protocols, union thuggery and legislative manipulation of the markets is what is truly dooming our country.  Failing to fix these things, along with a fair tax structure instead of the regressive and putative punishment of success, companies will flee to countries like China that have lower taxes, less restrictive zoning laws, no property taxes, less restrictive government oversight, and no labor lawyers and union bosses breathing down their necks.  Further, without double taxation of capital gains, dividends, and absurd confiscation rates, the real economy could then be built on investment instead of debt as Roberts seems to advocate against. 

Instead of those trade solutions and a serious reduction in social spending and pork bellies, the dimwit decides to loose all credibility and rail against the "neocon" and "military/security complex" of the country.  Roberts wants to fix the budget deficit by a reduction of military spending.  This seemingly "brilliant" idea discounts the fact that our biggest bond purchaser (besides the Fed), China, is in a full blown military arms race with the USA.  Unfortunately, the defense budget isn't even the biggest contributor to the budget deficits!  The winner of those titles can easily go to porkulious, TARP I & II, quantitative easing I (and hopefully not II), unemployment benefits, pay for teachers, medicare bailouts, health care, social security and pork barrel pet projects, pay for unions, and bailouts of the states! 

While continuing in Iraq and Afghanistan aren't exactly the best use of federal budget, leaving Iraq while real progress has been made is not currently justifiable.  I will conceded that Afghanistan is a lost cause.  Simple isolation and mitigation of the Taliban / terrorist threat from that country would suffice our national security needs.  However, when the defense budget of the US for Fiscal 2010 was 23% versus the 55% spent on social programs, we could have easily eliminated 2 trillion in waste that was simply vote buying for incumbents (source).  If that had been done, we would have had about a 1 trillion budget surplus (tax receipts vs spending).  True, Roberts is correct that US military budget "exceeds the budgets of all the serious military powers on earth combined," but that isn't what has made us bankrupt over the last 80 years.

Perhaps Roberts realizes that gutting the social programs is actually necessary to the survival of this country, even though it is not politically expedient.  Unfortunately, I would not believe that anything the crew from INFOwars publishes, actually has any real credibility behind it, since the wackos run the asylum.  I suppose though that we could toss Roberts a peanut for effort, even if it comes up a bit short sighted. 

16 August 2010

Quote of the Day: When Money Dies, Double Edition

On 7 August, I told you I would be reading the book When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Collapse.  After relaying my start of the book, I didn't make it past the prologue until this weekend.

Before I get to the main Quote of the Day (QOTD), I will give you this one that is too important to overlook from the last paragraph of the prologue:
"This is, I believe, a moral tale.  It goes far to prove the revolutionary axiom that if you wish to destroy a nation you must corrupt its currency.  Thus must sound money be the first bastion of society's defense. 
With this in mind, Adam Fergusson's book isn't so much economic theory, as it is historical context of what happens to the people in an economic crisis of epic proportions.  No need to hold an economics degree to follow this writting because Fergusson thus far, has done an excellent job of recanting the almost mind numbing price escalations and the corresponding fall of the German Mark and Austrian's Krone in a post WWI environment.  So fast was the devaluation, we have the main QOTD:
"A Roman who was born under Theodosius and died under Romulus Augustulus had seventy years in which to pass through the changes which Austria has seen in three."
It leaves us to wonder, where exactly are we headed as we leave interest rates at near zero percent rate for such an extended time frame (approaching two years).  It is apparent that we are headed towards a currency devaluation that as Fergusson has already eluded to in three short chapters transferred wealth from savers, retirees, and those of nobility, to the political class, the paupers, the debtors, and the wealthy bankers.  What we are seeing in this crisis is ultimately a greater groundwork for a revolution that may not necessarily be for the better.  If history repeats itself, the misery depicted through the end of chapter three is one that will cause "joyless streets" for an extended period of time.

More updates and comments to come.

ICE Director Directly Responsible for Prevention of Immigration Eforcement

Dysfunctional Washington is now getting blasted by the union chief of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Seems that some 7000 union members and ICE officers placed a vote of no confidence against the ICE Director.  I can't imagine why the boots on the ground would speak out against their director, but maybe it has something to do with the willful lack of enforcement of our immigration laws?  You know it's bad when the WaPo also calls for your resignation. 

Just more dislocation between Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street America.  We need to fix the former before we can ever fix the latter. 

Big Government Big Bureaucracy

What happens when the government steals 20 billion from a major corporation?  Oh that's right, thieves steal from the government!  From the London Telegraph last week...
US authorities have arrested three people in the past week on suspicion of abusing the system designed to compensate commercial fisherman for lost business since the [BP] disaster.
One thing to learn is that while the government steals from it's citizens, don't steal from the government, it hates competition.  Just more failed meddler's policies right before our eyes.  Is there ANY argument to keep ANY one of the current incumbents in Washington?  Let them all burn at the election stake this year.  (Note that I did say election stake, not an actual stake, lest someone think I'm inciting violence against our dear leaders). 

14 August 2010

Does America Know How to Fight?

I wanted to write a follow up to my post regarding potential Israel, Iranian conflict (post here).  This week, Iran has begun digging "mass graves for attacking American soldiers" just in case we attack them (source).   

I do find it necessary to give some frame of reference for my opinion on Iraq, Afghanistan, and now potential Iranian wars.  Let us not mince words as "conflicts" in my mind are merely politicians' double-speak for military action.  Seven years ago, I wasn't as smart as today (geo-politically / historically), and I bought into the half-truth that I now understand the whole Bush Administration's intelligence estimates to be.  That being the case, my present day opinion is that containment, isolation, and prevention to the best of our abilities of these countries is the best way to go about creating a peaceable and workable solution. Washington would have to use an exorbitant amount of restraint against meddling, which means that it is destine for failure before it would even start.  Something that the US leadership forgets is that it's primary focus should be on the citizens of our country and what is best for them.

If the US political leadership is not willing to expend the resources (men, machines, and money) to completely crush the hearts and minds of those who espouse radical Islam, then you have no business trying to change them.  While we are seeing some progress with the DoD's COIN (Counter Insurgency) Doctrine, it is hard to reason with people who still prefer to live in the stone-age and are manipulated by radicals who are almost a clone of their Washington counterparts.  Politicians are politicians, whether they speak from a realm of "law" or "religion."  It is plainly evident that both Washington politicians and radical Imams know exactly how to create classes of people that oppose one another, which in turn, creates a climate for exploitation.  That exploitation is only a means to an end of amassed power.

Do not get me wrong, Islamisists are an enemy of our country, but killing non-military, radical terrorists that fight for an idea is nearly impossible to stop unless you assure them of their complete and utter destruction.  Without clear war, there is no clear victory.  Our current doctrine of break, rebuild, and change their hearts and minds is not successful.  Jihadists seek to instill their Sharia Law (source) upon those whom don't want anything to do with it.  Sound familiar?  We expect them to follow a doctrine that we don't follow ourselves.

Does this mean abandoning the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Not completely.  It does mean that where we have screwed up, we must make right on a human level, fix things, as best we can to then trust that human nature and good will take hold.  Once that is reasonably accomplished, our focus should be to shift towards home, and take care of ourselves and stop meddling with everyone else's business.  That includes what Israel would like us to do by using us in a proxy war.

If Israel wants regime change in Iran, let them go at it alone.  It will be ugly and it will be long.  I have no doubts that the Israelis will succeed, and perhaps with less humanitarian efforts than the USA, but what they will achieve, is a destruction of their enemies' souls.  That's what war used to be about.  When there was an evil in the world, and it chose to make itself present, you confronted it and obliterated it.  I don't think the USA knows how to do that any more, at least not from a political level.

AK Fan and I were discussing the mass graves.  The comedian that he is suggested we should lob a few cruise missiles at those graves, and blow 'em up.  Show Iran who is boss.  Kick ass and take names later.  It's a great strategy, but unfortunately, the world of the precision army, polarizing civilian leadership, and the lack of testicular fortitude to do dirty deeds, dirt cheap, it'll never happen.  Israel on the other hand should seriously consider AK Fan's suggestion, and commence bombing in 30 seconds.  Maybe then we would see some real stability in the middle east, and the blind sheeple of the desert sands can come into the 21st century. 

Of course, he wanted to do it merely to hear the snickers from the UN security council members, and I can't say that I blame him for that.  Talk about one geo-political joke!

13 August 2010

What did Rockford, IL Gestapo Learn from McDonald?

Even though we now have an individually guaranteed right to keep and bear arms, which even applies to the states, that won't keep them from confiscating your arms based on their personal whims! 

It seems that some bat nut neighbor of a Rockford, IL man "witnessed" a burglary and called the Po-Po's.  Once they arrived on the scene, they found a house in disarray with trash everywhere and some 300 firearms strewn about.  No signs of a crime, except maybe that the homeowner is a pack rat and a slob.  No knowledge that the guns aren't legally owned.  Just confiscated to run "checks" on all the arms to make sure they haven't been used in any crimes or haven't been reported stolen. 

I'm pretty sure this violates not only the 2A but your standard 4th and 5th Amendments as well.  Kudos Rockford for continuing the egregious acts of violating individual rights.  Here's to hoping that Alan Gura's NC Emergency Power's lawsuit is successful in enjoining states from outright confiscations when no crime is committed. 

12 August 2010

Slice of Life: AHHHHHH Football!

Even if it's pa'tend football, I'll be watching my Ravens eat some kitty cats.  Go Purple and Black attack!  GO FLACCO!  I need some distraction for work and sucky news lately.  How about blogoland?  Watching any preseason games lately? 

1000 Round Challenge!

Caleb over at Gunnuts.net has a great challenge.  Shoot 1000 rounds in a month out of your favorite carry pistol or practical defense gun. 

An excellent idea!  So much so, I am going to attempt to make this happen in the month of September.  Who knows, maybe my shooting will improve if I do it (but I doubt my wallet's financial position will). 

Does the Rule of Law Over Rule The Mob?

Gay marriage is always a touchy subject.  The right generally wants nothing to do with it, mostly due to it's "morals" and "christian values."  The left seems to legitimize it, but only to the point where they can buy enough votes from the true advocates who are left holding the torch without much backing from the liberal, political leadership.  So it should come as no surprise that the tragic comedy continues in Commifornia where last week, Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker threw out the votes of some seven million in favor of Proposition 8. 

The controversial ballot initiative that would have banned same sex marriage in California through a constitutional amendment, is back in the news today.  Judge Walker has lifted a stay of his ruling which means starting next Wednesday and until 9th Circus intervenes, same sex couples are free to apply for a marriage license and join us heteros in wedded bliss.  Personally, I say good for them!  I'm sure that isn't exactly what you were looking to hear now was it dear reader?  

Let us face some facts.  First, who cares!  Conservatives claim to be for individuals and against government intrusion, yet they decry against a judge who actually ruled in favor of the individual.  Friends and family know how I feel on the subject, it's none of the government's business on who parterns and who weds.  No government agency should craft any policy for anything referencing marriage or wedding [emphasis added].  Marriage is strictly religious and should be left to various churches.  If you want to be married, go to a church, if you want a legally recognized, civil law unity, go to a court house.

In Judge Walker's opinion, he stated:
“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.  Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”
Further in his opinion, the Judge said that "The Due Process Clause provides that no “State [shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” US Const Amend XIV, § 1. Due process protects individuals against arbitrary governmental intrusion into life, liberty or property. "

Basically, the judge said that the rule of the mob, in this case 52% of voters, cannot deny rights to the other  48% who disagree with them.  The US is not a democracy, it's a republic, relying upon the rule of law to balance power between those who have it (same sex marriage opponents) and those who don't (supporters).  In this case, Judge Walker stepped in and showed that due process cannot deny rights to anyone based upon race, sex, creed, religion, or sexual orientation.  Further, the privileges and immunities of any individual cannot be abridged, arbitrarily, by any one state or another.  Now, I do want to throw in two caveats: 1) I am only an arm chair lawyer and 2) I think there are some serious Tenth Amendment issues that are not discussed in the ruling.  Since the US Constitution is really silent on the issue of marriage, does it give the FedGov any ability to regulate it?  If not, that means the FedGov should have no say, and it is to be left to the states and the people (X Amendment).  

Conservatives can't have their cake and eat it too.  Either you believe in individual liberty, even when you don't agree with the act (my personal view) or you are a hypocrite on this singular issue.  The religious right continuously condemns the government for "forcing" same sex marriage on us, when they could simply force the issue that the government has no reasonable right to regulate the act in the first place.  Judge Walker could have saved a lot of headaches had he just thrown out every single "marriage" law on the books, but then we would have surly seen appeals and reversals of such a radical ruling. 

That would have made for a real return to Constitutional governance. Striking all reference to "marriage" out of any state or federal code in his district would mean that laws would have to be rigorously adjusted.  Think what implications that could have had.  No more marriage penalty in the tax code.  No more class warfare between married parents and benefits for "single" parents.  None of that would exist, all because now, the state and federal governments would have to craft new laws that do not discriminate against the individual or the individual legal entity (what marriage really is).

I do admire the passion by the right to preserve the traditions and sanctimony of marriage, but there are bigger fish to fry than religious superiority.  Further, even as someone that does not agree with homosexual marriage on a religious level, God told us not to judge.  It happens to be one of those pesky ten commandments the religious right seem to conveniently forget about.  As far as those who put the initiutive on the California ballot, it's a political stunt!  Learn it, live it, love it!  Those officials seeking office are trolling for votes, and only the small religious right base care so deeply about this issue.    

Look, if someone wants to be gay, are you going to stop them?  Who cares if it's learned, hereditary, or taught, what snowflakes in hell difference does it make to the impact of your's and my daily life?  Simply because we happen to walk past someone who's better dressed with more cologne or happens to play sports better than us?  Stop being part of the mob.  Realize the Judge got this one right, even though on a tenth amendment issue he may be wrong.

As long as the world doesn't produce more Prez Hilton's who shit rainbows and flaunt their lunacy, what's wrong with MORE individual freedom?  Please, enlighten me, I'll be waiting to the twelfth of never. 

Electoral College Drop Outs

A news story that flew under the radar two weeks ago was that Massachusetts has now become the sixth state to enact legislation changing how their electoral college votes are cast for the election of the President.  Unlike most states that certify their electors based on popular vote within the state, the winner of the national popular vote will get all the votes from the Bay State. 

If this seems a little odd to you, it definitely did not pass my smell test.  Doing a little further research, it seems my home state has also passed similar legislation.  From a 2007 WaPo article, it would appear that Maryland's legislation does not take affect until a majority of states pass and enact similar laws.

Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, aforementioned Maryland, Washington and now Massachusetts are the states that have enacted this law.  These states total 61 votes of the electoral college, where there are a total of 538 possible votes.  Investigating further, I turned up a link from the CBS article to an organization that is pushing for legislation in every state in the union.  In addition to the six states with laws enacted we can follow this breakdown:

  • 4 States have passed legislation by both houses
  • 10 states have passed by one house
  • 9 states have passed 1 committee
  • 11 states have held hearings
  • and 11 other states have had bills introduced
  • 50 states and DC with bills

Continuing to dig around on this website (which I refuse to give publication for), yields a free book published by a who's who of those who have taught at Standford, run law firms, are for Obamacare, have run financial institutions, as well as others who are "independents" and malcontents that do not understand the inner workings of our Constitution.

They claim that "one man" should have "one vote," which is how the current electoral college system works.  If it isn't known to the American populace, our Republic's charter is meant to provide a balance of power.  It is meant to prevent any one group from wielding too much power against those who do not possess power.  In other words, the Constitution is meant to prevent tyranny and hence the reason why the founders conceived the electoral college system.  The electoral college system is also meant to preserve power across the several states, and ensure each state has an equal ear of the Presidential Candidates and the POTUS himself.  Our founders wanted to make sure that Presidential candidates didn't migrate to every major metropolis, ignoring the rural parts of the country in an effort to garnish the majority of the popular vote.

If every state were to have this popular vote legislation, all that would be nessecary to win is to campaign in every major city and win solid majorities from those cities.  I've seen this before where in theory, 49 states can elect one president, yet if one state has the right turnout in a popular vote situation, the one state can overrule 49 of their peers.  For instance, without the protections of the electoral college, every state in the nation can vote for candidate A who wins by 500 votes giving him a 24,500 vote lead going into the final state.  Let us assume the final state is California where candidate B wins in a state landslide by 24,501 votes.  In that instance, Candidate B would win the plurality of votes for the entire nation in the popular election by one.  Candidate B would have only won, one state's support.  Doesn't seem how our Federal Republic is supposed to be run, at least to this individual. 

Those in this group clam to be creating more "individual freedom" which usually would be an admirable campaign.  Don't be fooled, it is simply a ruse!  Presidential popular vote agendas are nothing more than an effort to undermine the Constitution and it's safeguards.  This group willingly wishes to destroy the inherent protections afford to the people that our founders created.  Instead of attempting to amend the Constitution where they know they would never succeed, this group instead attacks the states whom have sympathetic ears.  Obviously, this is one blogger that is onto their shenanigans and doesn't appreciate their plot to tear apart the parchment paper we hold so dear.

11 August 2010

Hello Elephant in the Room! Bankruptcy You Say?

Somewhere in that title, there is a cruel, cruel joke, but unfortunately, this is today's reality.  It is the bleak assessment that has been offered from the IMF reverberated by Boston University Professor Laurence Kotlikoft, and even echoed by the Congressional Budget office.  The total bill of current and future spending at today's present value?  Some 202 trillion dollars!  That's 202,000,000,000,000!  If you calculate each tax payer's share of this bill, each individual is on the hook for 1.3 million dollars.  That doesn't even include the state and local budget deficits or your personal debts! 

In his Op-ed today for Bloomberg News, the professor goes through a quick analysis of where we are as a country and where we are headed, financially.  The short version is that it's ugly.  At best, we will resemble Spain and Greece but at worst, we are headed for an Argentinian style fiscal collapse.  The numbers are so large, you can't really wrap your mind around them. 

There will be some tough choices that will have to be made as we move forward in the United States.  The budget pressures of maintaining the social spending, overseas aid, and even a litany of military programs will have to come under strict scrutiny if we are not to collapse under the weight of our country's mortgage. 

Arguing With Idiots Made Easier: Gun Control "un"facts

I need to be a lot faster moving on news, but work lately has been a drag limiting my ability to get it up as fast as I would like.  Hey, unlike the US Government, I need to pay my bills.

Several other bloggers had this posted last week, but to those who only follow me (hopefully friends and family), here's how you make arguing with idiots simpler and dispel the lies they have been told by the controllers in regards to concealed carry.  As usual, John R. Lott knocks it out of the box with his statisical and economic take upon the real world data that the Brady's just can't seem to wrap their little pea brains around.  The professor looks at the "stories" the Brady Bunch tells pertaining to permit holders having their permits revoked or the crimes they commit with guns (either with or more conveniently without a permit).

To those of us in Maryland, this should be a great article to us against those who oppose Shall Issue going into upcoming election especially with the recent SAF court case.  Considering most of the dolts in this state are dims with no sense of self respect and self reliance, I'm sure the reality of how law abiding citizens act with powerful weapons will completely confuse them.  So go get to confusing! 

07 August 2010

Planet's Best Reporter: The Death of Paper Money

One of a couple stories that cropped up last week that flew under the radar was this one from Ambrose-Evans Pritchard of the London Telegraph.

It seems that the economic downturn we are now seeing (Thursday's jobless claims surged higher than "expected") he is predicting will persist on a bases of deflationary prices for the near term.  Unfortunately, that means ONLY the near term, due to the quantitative easing polices of the Easy Money Fed and Helicopter Ben Bernanke. 

The major scare last week (though, it wasn't much of a scare) was that a particular book is in high demand amongst international traders, bankers, and other finance ministers.  I have procured a copy of When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Collapse  on loan from AKFan and will be starting it this weekend.  You, my dear reader, will get the full advantage of the best facts without the hassle of reading it or paying $800 for a copy.

Until the next update, enjoy your weekend! 

06 August 2010

Slice of Life: Day at the Range with Family

Ahhhhhhhh.  A Saturday with range time!  It has been far to long since I got to put a few live rounds down range, and I was able to accomplish that with a visit to my parents this past Saturday.  Their undisclosed location has enough land where I can safely and legally practice with my arms and without the hassle of having to deal with unwanted company.  It even affords me an opportunity to hangout with my old man and sometimes teach him a thing or two.

Don't get that wrong however, he still kicks my ass every time we hit the skeet range or sporting clays course, but that's not a surprise.  He was practically raised with a goose gun in his hand and the older I get, the more I appreciate that about him.  It also means that his wing shooting is more developed and more refined than mine will ever hope to be.  Then again, he has hundreds of hours in the field compared to me and repetition is what this sport is all about.  Drill it until you can't get it wrong.

I have been hoping that my wife, who isn't the biggest fan of arms, would become more interested in learning about shooting.  If nothing else, it would do some good for her to be able to dismiss some of the emotional and irrational fears that she has with firearms.  Both my dad and I were unsuccessful in attempting to get her to shoot a .22 pistol on Saturday, but that means I will just have to try harder.  Death by 1,000 paper cuts!  (Love you dear).

Obviously, the cost of ammo these days is one of the prohibiting factors in lack of arms training, and it showed on Saturday.  While, I've been doing some aiming drills with my AK from time to time in the basement, I need to remember to do the same with my pistols.  I was all over the place with my XD in 40 cal from 25 yards.  Moving in to get on to the paper yielded slightly better results.  I like that arm, but I hate it's trigger.  Long, hard, and heavy with a squishy break are not the best attributes for a trigger of any kind, especially on a handgun.  I have been toying around with trading or selling it for either a Glock, XDm, or perhaps a Rugger SR9, all in the more affordable to shoot 9x19mm. 

Compared to that XD, a 1911's trigger is a dream.  Unfortunately, at $.40 a round, I tend to keep that ammo pretty well built up in reserve for the "emergency" stash.  The solution?  A .22 LR conversion slide, barrel and magazine.  Just need to get spousal approval for such a purchase (along with the other items on the non-discussed "dream" list).  Of course, dear readers, if you're so gracious in gratuities, I have no problem accepting donations for the "gear" pile (shameless plug, not obligatory, more tongue in cheek of course).

I did get to test out two new pieces of gear.  My Eagle Industries AK47 6 Mag Chest Rig and my tactical sling.  Lessons learned on gear?  K.I.S.S.  The sling works for it's intended function, but it has too much "fluff" on it with the quick detach and a three point design.  It got caught up on the chest rig going from ready to aim nearly every time.  No matter which way I sliced it, it always seemed to be in the way on the forward hand guard when using it from a "two" point position.  Single point didn't have that issue, but there was still the strap running the length of the rifle which seemed to be in the way.  I'm not ready to throw it away yet, but I will keep my options open.  Perhaps after I take an AK carbine course and get some instructor feedback, I might look for a better sling option.

The chest rig on the other hand, while over kill for the range, worked great.  I hauled 4 full mags with me and used the other two indexes for pistol mags.  No rattle, no clang, and loaded out with 4 mags it fits better without all the weight from 6 mags of Combloc ammo.  Now, to train up and go to a three gun shoot (yes, I know, it's overkill for that too).  AK report?  It's an AK.  I goes bang.  It makes holes in targets and from 30+ yards (or my personal, don't come much closer distance if SHTF) I am affective with it by keeping full mags inside a pie plate (except for a few fliers).  I can even say I have better groups with it than my father can manage.  I'm trying to work on him to get one, but he just doesn't appreciate fine Soviet engineering.  Made to function with cheap ammo and anyone who has gotten blood in their vodka stream. 

All of that stuff said, the shooter needs to do his job and shoot more.  Which is one thing I have resolved to do over the rest of the year.  Considering I have an indoor range not that far from my residence, I will start to make it a regular trip a couple times a month for handgun practice.  Additionally, every time I make a trip to my parents and the weather is half way decent, I'll take the AK along.  While affective from SHTF range, I want to work on up to 100+ yard distances, for the "just in case" set of skills.  Perhaps I need to find an Appleseed shoot?

Was it a good day?  Yes it was, and I really need to do that more frequently!

05 August 2010

Lindsay Grahamnisty, You're a Shamnisty!

More of the same from the Washington, Ruling Elites.  Words be damned.  Meaning be damned.  Dodged questions be damned, it's simply the "game" for them.  Lindsay Graham, that's where you fit in!  All you had to do a couple weeks ago to torpedo Kagen, was vote no in the Judiciary Committee.  Instead, you sided with the liberal scums and gave her a yes vote in the hearing. 

Rules dictate (or they used to, I'm sure the radical Marxists have changed them since then) that a nominee needs at least one minority member vote to clear the committee hurdle.  Instead of Kagen's nomination dying in a proverbial fire, an activist who will write new law from the most high bench is now the newest member of SCOTUS. 

Let us hope that your decision Mr. Grahmanisty, doesn't cost the American people when it comes to repealing Obamacare through court challenges.  I know I will personally hold you responsible for this decision, and I hope the people of South Carolina do as well! 

Now They Come for Our Lead Based Ammo

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has an Action Alert that the EPA is looking to ban ALL lead based ammunition. 

If you follow the Firearms Blog, they have had SEVERAL reports (here, here, and here, and a few others too), that this green ammo is MORE toxic than it's lead counterparts.  Wired Blog also has a story dated 20 April 2009, detailing a study that "green" training ammo has been linked to cancer causing agents.  Funny, seems that cheap lead based projectiles has been used by generations of patriots, sportsmen, and target shooters for centuries without any ill-effects.  Green ammo after, at most, a decade can't claim that. 

Follow the NSSF Action Alert for information on how to contact the EPA to voice your strong descent to this  needless regulation and backdoor ammo tax. 

04 August 2010

Following Our Foundings, Renouncing Citizenship to Save on Taxes

The Financial Times has an article published Monday that people are lining up in London to renounce their US Citizenship and hand in their US Passports.  Apparently, the line is so long, that appointments are necessary and you can't get one until February of 2011.  According to the article there are many reasons why people are renouncing their US citizenship but chief among them is the attempt to escape the ever growing reach of the IRC (Internal Revenue Code).  It seems that those working and living abroad have better tax advantages available to them since nations like the UK do not have far reaching revenue generating schemes that extend beyond their borders. 

No longer is the IRC just internal and the people of this country should call it what it really is, an all encompassing Inter-World Revenue Code.  Our founders effectively renounced their loyalty to the English Crown on the basis of taxes, so it seems fitting that it is coming full circle.  It is a shame that those would rather renounce their citizenship than fight to make changes that would benefit all Americans.  However, it is a decision based on freedom following the American spirit of personal choice and one that I honestly can't find fault towards.  Good luck to those who have or are thinking about escaping the tax code through renouncing your citizenship, but just do me a favor, and move to the lower latitudes first! 

Summer of Recovery: For Everyone but American People

While the American Regime is busy spending your tax dollars on "Summer of Recovery," from AKFan we get that in reality, your tax dollars are being spent to ship high tech jobs over seas.  Precisely the jobs that the President claimed to be for keeping here and now he is apparently against keeping them here?  Twenty-two million dollars is being pushed to an initutive to better train approximately three thousand IT specialists in  South-Asia. 

Further evidence that the President could care less about the American public and their plight to crawl out of the double dipping recession. 

Read about it here.

Mr. President, Israel Means Business

Zero Hedge has an memo published by VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) to the President detailing the dire situation that is manifesting in the Middle East.  The memo is extremely long, but a worth while read. 

If you have been following the non-USA news lately, you would know that Lebanon and Israeli tensions hit another flash point this week and border skirmishes have kicked off yet again.  It is apparent that Israel is staring to feel they are backed into a corner, with no where to go, along with an American administration that will probably do nothing to support them, unless forced.  Israel knows how to play the fiddle and force America into support, despite the US's apprehensions, or so the memo explains.

The memo is too detailed to really summarize here with my lack of concrete understanding on Middle Eastern politics but it is simple enough for the laymen to get a good idea of where we are headed.  The main factor to take home is that Israel seems to want regime change in Iran and they are less concerned with nuclear weapons as they are the body politic of the Iranian leadership.  As you will read, this "baiting" strategy is familiar to the world, circa 2003.  Go figure, another intelligence piece that wants to advert another war of preemption which seems to be the modern norm. 

So, I'll pose the question to my readership;  With hindsight always being 20-20 and the philosophical fight between good and evil always a metaphysical relevant, if you were President, what would you do? 

Missouri Rejects Obamacare!

By a vote of nearly 3:1, Missouri voters adopted Prop C on a ballot initiative to reject Obamacare.  Good for them!  Read about it here.

03 August 2010

GOP: The R Stands for Retread

Two weeks ago, one election race was settled before it even started.  Why?  Because of the ineptitude of the Maryland Republican Party to put up ANY candidate to face off against sitting Attorney General, Doug Gansler.  Run Homer Simpson, run Mickey Mouse, dig up and run Joseph Stalin if you want but run anyone against this guy who is about as Constitutional as Sal Alinsky!  Don't just GIVE him the election!  Yet, that's what the Retread party did. 

My fellow Republican party members suffer from the same battered R syndrome as I do, and the mere fact that the 2:1 Dem advantage in this state is always looming, a tactical "non-victory" is not only not acceptable, but it is another notch in the bed post against the "repubics."  At least make their party spend to defend the seat and make the incumbent a target of the political audience at large.  If you force the defense of the seat, you at least put them on record to impliment policies that conservatives can live with (at worst) or be happy about (at best).  Considering Maryland is one of the must un-free states in the Union, at least make them sweat the election process some!  Don't give up before you even start.  We lost a major opportunity to differentiate on the issues and do good for the citizens of Maryland.

Let's think about several issues that have been prominately in the news lately and how a Constitutional AG would have helped make Maryland a more free state.  Immigration is a big topic with the Governor of our Southern neighbor making the statement today that Virginia has the right to enforce Federal immigration law.  While it is seriously doubtful that our MD Gov Owe'Malley would do that, a conservative AG would have conflicted with the Governor setting up a potential showdown between the chief legal officer and the chief law enforcement officer.  Considering it is the AG that offers summary opinions to the state's law enforcement authorities, we would have simply neutered the effect of our Gov to betray the Constitution and our security. 

Doug Gansler was also asked for an opinion on carrying of firearms in a post McDonald world.  Gansler, offered an opinion that was an effective punt on the issue, saying that Maryland's laws meet the "reasonable restriction standard" and thus negating any reason for changing our state from a discretionary issue state.  It should not take a Second Amendment Foundation lawsuit to force the state's hand, and what's worse, Gansler will spend unlimited tax payer dollars in defense of the unconstitutional Maryland laws.  

A local issue that was hanging in the balance was actually settled by Gansler last week when he issued an AG opinion that it is not "illegal" to video and voice record police officers performing their duties.  I'm so glad the AG waited until this week to offer his opinion.  It is issues like these that the Maryland Republican party could have and should have latched on to and made campaign issues.  Think of the commercials that could have been made.  Think about the debate topics that could have been argued in an effort to shape the policy and laws of Maryland.  Instead of amassing more power to a state government, the rights of the people could have been better defended and certainly better supported. 

Instead, we must resort to our walk of shame back to our "conservative playpen" that the left in this state "allows" us to have.  Good job Republican party of Maryland, go have your temper tantrum for your ineptitude and allow us who know what the hell we are doing to run the show!